Creative Writing, Venue


There is no easy time to do this; it is always too cold.

You are a wrecked expanse, spread thin, limbs out

and covering every bed-sheet stain, fabric bundled

in the bend of each finger, face bundled

in the wring of each kiss.

I dive then, low and mask-less

to knock a wearied fist against

a door (winged like a Rorschach)

without a lock, but I knock

and knock again sinfully holding my breath.

I came for nothing else; I breathe faster.

I trace the maps, the wreaths that spiralled out

to mask its own stories, darken the ice,

hide the soft decay of soil

and I feel your cold, cradled in,

balled like a doorknob

and I knock again, and it opens to a mirror,

that bloodied image of myself

with different hair and voice and size

but too much me.

Nothing here remains; I leave no mark.

Until I surface, I search,

Dredging up the mud whites of dead snow

searching searching the fallow

for the smallest green bud of Spring,

the limpest sprig in a case of white

until I surface, red in the face,

wishing for warmth but saying nothing.

I left no mark; nothing here remains.


About Author

Oliver Shrouder

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October 2021
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